Saturday, June 22, 2019

Day 21 Elk Prairie to Arcata

Distance - 46 miles
This morning is COLD!
We are glad the sun in shining.
We leave camp and bike about a half mile - we aren't even out of the campsite yet - then stop to put on ALL THE LAYERS!
Once suited up for winter, we say goodbye to our elk buddies and head back into the redwoods.
In a few short miles we depart the redwoods back to the coast where we tour through several lagoons. Today has lots of rolling hills, and we stop several times to admire the view and peel off our layers of clothing.

We stop in Trinidad for lunch at the Beachcomber Cafe (tasty, but a little overpriced), then head back out onto the scenic route. We are treated to the best coastal views we've had so far in Cali! To add to the adventure, the road is rough and bumpy, occasionally goes to gravel, and is intermittently one lane!
Twenty miles in we depart the highway for a more scenic coastal ride. We love the coastal views, but the wind is still so wild! The hills continue to roll and I am getting progressively angrier at my inability to shift properly... Are we in Arcata yet?
We're back on the highway briefly before we're treated to a rather unexpected paved trail - the Hammond Trail! Here we have an awesome tailwind and feel like we're flying!
We can see the highway beside us curve and go uphill. We hope that our trail continues along the coast and skirts the hill - but that would be too easy! Instead not only do we get the uphill, the trail goes to gravel AND has drianage ditches as an added bonus. California is clearly here to make us stronger. The trail then peacefully takes us the rest of the way into town.
We pass by Humboldt State University on the way, the campus looks quite nice and the bike lanes in the area are great!
Once in town we easily find the bike shop - hooray! We make a short trip to the grocery store while they work, and we're back on the road in no time! My chain and cassette are new, and my derailer is in the proper place (apparently it was bent which added to my shifting fun!). In my defense, I've only let my bike fall over twice in 3 weeks - and one was definitely not my fault *cough* Chris ;)
I have a new front tire that no longer wobbles, I guess I hit enough bumps to destroy the casing - but the wheel itself is fine.
Then we're back on the road and OH MY GOD THE ROAD IS FLAT. As in there are no hills, but also my front tire doesn't thunk with every rotation. I am a new me! Also rather disappointed because the campsite is only 3 miles away. However, tomorrow is a 60+ mile day and although it feels like a shiny new pony I'm sure I will eat my words tomorrow!
We roll up to the Redwoods Coast Cabins and RV Park - it's the only place to stay in the area - and the guide book says the biker camp is just the grass behind the check in building. What it doesn't say is there's a HOT TUB! And showers and laundry and a pool! It may be twice the price but today it feels worth it.
We cook dinner to the sweet sweet sounds of the lumber yard next door.
We caved and paid the extra 3$ to do laundry. Our tent was starting to smell like we've been out here for years - and now it smells like fresh laundry! Now there's a camping smell I never thought I would love so much.
Now if you'll excuse us we've got a hot tub to attend to...

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